Thursday, February 18, 2010

Standing Up When His Team Needed It

If the Owen Sound Attack are going to make the OHL playoffs then the key is going to be how well Scott Stajcer plays for them. The only goalie among Ranger prospects; Stajcer has showed a lot of promise as well as some of the all too typical growing pains that a young goalie puts you though.

Owen Sound enters this weekend play with just 10 games remaining in the regular season and a 2 point hold on the 8th seed. This is the time of the year where your goalie has to put the team on his back and carry them as far as he can.

Stajcer and his Attack hit the road Thursday to face the Saginaw Spirit; the Spirit had won the previous 3 meetings so Stajcer needed a big game and he delivered.

Stajcer stopped 23 out of 24 shots as the Attack won their second straight 3-1 over the Spirit. The win give the Attack a 4 point lead over the Guelph Storm and Sarnia Sting in the race for the last playoff spot in the OHL's Western Conference.

Stajcer had it easy in the first period only facing 6 shots as his teammates took the game to the Spirit scoring 2 goals in the first period on 22 shots. In the second period, Stajcer gave up a goal at the 1:29 of the second period as he faced just 7 shots in that period but Stajcer shut the door on the Spirit by stopping all 11 shots he faced.

Stajcer in winning his 2nd straight start improved his record to 21-19-3-1 3.43 Goals Against and a 0.904 save percentage. Stajcer also is now 18th overall in the OHL for goalies which is new ground for him.


Yes I freely admit some bias when it comes to the Portland Winterhawks as once upon a time if not for one Dean "Scooter" Vrooman then Prospect Park does not happen. If not for "Scooter" the coverage that Ranger fans have gotten used to in the Blueshirt Bulletin never happens.

Vrooman used to work for the Portland Winterhawks as their play by play guy but also their media relations person. It was Vrooman who granted access to myself and the Blueshirt Bulletin not only for Ranger prospects playing for the Winterhawks but other Ranger prospects playing on other WHL teams.

Even better was that in an era where sport's announcer think they are why you turn in to watch or listen, Vrooman along with Andy Kemper called the game right down the middle even if it meant being critical of their Winterhawks. These 2 were the best announcers in the Canadian Juniors.

When the Winterhawks were sold to a group that can best be described as the minor-league version of the Dolans, Vrooman resigned and moved on to other ventures. Nothing against Andy Kemper who I think the world of but nobody calls a Winterhawk game like the "Scooter".

The bunglers who screwed up the Winterhawks are gone and there is a new exciting era in Winterhawk hockey growing but this Saturday evening will be a special night for those who root for the Winterhawks.

Dean Vrooman is going to team with his son Todd to call Saturday night's Winterhawk game. Todd is becoming a solid announcer in his own right but this one is going to be one of those times where I make the effort to listen.


One of the reasons that I really do not care for the Olympic hockey is no matter what happens, nobody in North America is going to be happy with the performance of either Canada or the USA. Imagine how Canada is freaking out that they have to go to a shoot out to defeat Switzerland or how the US struggled to a 5-1 win over Norway.

Friendly advice to hockey fans in North America; hockey players elsewhere are in fact getting better so get used to games like this. Switzerland is going to get much better in the coming years as witnessed by their performance in the World Under-20 Championships.

Ask Winterhawk fans about Nino Neiderreiter and imagine how good he is going to be in 4 years? The Winterhawks with both Nino and Sbisa are going to be legit threats in the WHL playoffs.

The Hockey world is getting smaller get used to it.

(Stajcer courtesy of Owen Sound, Vrooman courtesy of the Portland Winterhawks)

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